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American Paintings and Sculpture
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext2 of 2
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Artist: John Trumbull, American, 1756–1843
Subject: Giuseppe Ceracchi, Italian, 1751–1802

Giuseppe Ceracchi (1751–1802)


Oil on wood

3 7/8 × 3 in. (9.8 × 7.6 cm)
Trumbull Collection

This portrait of Giuseppe Ceracchi is part of a set of miniatures John Trumbull painted in Philadelphia in 1792. A sculptor and  fervent revolutionary, Ceracchi came to America from Italy in 1791 hoping to receive a commission for a sculpture depicting Liberty. While waiting for Congress to respond to his proposal, he executed terra-cotta busts and medallions of leading political figures, including George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. Only a few of these studies were carved in marble. Trumbull later tried to recover the originals, but Ceracchi had taken them back to Europe after his project was voted down. Ceracchi also modeled a bust of Trumbull, perhaps at the same time that Trumbull painted his miniature.

On view
18th century

Helen A. Cooper et al., John Trumbull: The Hand and Spirit of a Painter (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1982), 130, pl. 56-60.

Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 100, no. 42, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.